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EU will allow Ukrainians to travel to bloc countries


11-25-2016 05:47 BJT

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BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and Ukraine on Thursday wrapped up their 18th bilateral summit in Brussels, focusing on support for reforms in Ukraine, as well as vise-free regime for Ukrainians travelling to the 28-nation bloc.

"We highly rate the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities, including those of President Poroshenko, to implement large-scale reforms in extremely difficult conditions. Ukraine's success will be the success of all of Europe," said European Council President Donald Tusk at a press conference which was also attended by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after the summit.

The EU will allocate more than 170 million euros(179.41 million U.S. dollars) to support good governance in Ukraine, according to deals signed at the summit.

The bloc will provide Ukraine with 15 million euros to fight corruption, 104 million euros to carry out public administration reform, and 52.5 million euros to foster the rule of law, the European Commission elaborated in a press release.

These allocations are parts of an support package to "foster accountable and transparent governance" in Ukraine which altogether make up a package worth over 300 million euros, the Commission noted.

"This new funding is evidence of the EU's continued support to the Ukrainian reform process, and to fundamental, sustained change to the way the country is governed," said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

"The EU is committed to building better governance for Ukraine, and fostering economic reforms, to make Ukraine a stronger, more prosperous and more resilient country." Hahn added.

Apart from the support for Ukaine's reform, the EU confirmed that it will grant visa-free regime for Ukrainians by the end of this year, according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

"Ukraine has fulfilled all the conditions being set for this purpose...we should now deliver on visa liberalization,"said Juncker at the joint press conference.

Following a Commission proposal published in April, the Council of the EU on November 17 agreed a negotiating position on visa liberalization for Ukrainians.

Once the new visa regime for Ukraine is agreed with the European Parliament and formally adopted, it will provide for visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens who travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

However, taking into account of the migratory situation in the EU, the Commission proposed to strengthen the current suspension mechanism, making it easier for member states to notify circumstances which might lead to a suspension.

In December 2015, the Commission concluded that Ukraine had met all the benchmarks for the visa-free requirement.

Regarding the crisis in east Ukraine, EU leaders at the summit reiterated their support to Ukraine on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"Europe must do everything in its power to make sure that Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and stability are preserved," said Tusk.

"We continue to support the Minsk process and our sanctions are linked with the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements," he added.

In July and September 2014, the EU imposed economic sanctions targeting exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors, in response to an alleged role that Russia has played in conflicts in east Ukraine.

In March 2015, EU leaders decided to align the existing sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Taking stock of the situation in east Ukraine, the EU in July extended the sanctions against Russia until Jan. 31, 2017.

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